The World Bank states that supporting small scale farmers is the most effective way to reduce poverty. But if we are to put an end to poverty and environmental destruction we can not rely on providing financial aid alone. We have to get involved in politics. This is why the Development Fund is also a political participant both nationally and internatio-nally. Some of our most important work concerns enabling and supporting our partners in their political advocacy work particularly in national arenas.
Food security is defined as a situation where all people at all times have access to enough safe, nutritious and culturally acceptable food in large enough quantities to meet their needs in order to live healthy, active lives. Additionally people, local communities and countries must have the right to control their own agricultural and food policies according to their specific ecological, social and economic conditions. It is a question of food sovereignty. This ensures that soil, water, seeds, livestock and biodiversity is managed mindful of those who produce the food.
Food security is something we are working to achieve together with, among others, La Via Campesina, the world’s largest farmer’s organization. They represent many millions of farmers around the globe. We join forces with the farmers in an effort to secure global equality.
The Development Fund is both an environmental organization and a development organization. The environment is an important part of all the projects we support. Political advocacy is about acknowledging the connection between environmental issues and development. We are involved in several UN processes both nationally and internationally. Among the most important are the climate summit meetings that are held once every year. We have been successful in strengthening our partner organizations’ ability and opportunity to participate. Several of our partners now play an important role in their country’s delegations.
We also follow the conferences in connection with the implementation of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and FAO’s International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources which aims to protect our biological diversity both in nature and in the farmer’s fields. Through participation in the Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) we have gained greater opportunities for participation by the civil society and farmer’s organizations. On the whole our participation in these processes are directed towards changing international policies for the benefit of the poor farmer and his family.